New tax rules mean you may have to give more for it to matter

Posted December 17, 2018 6:35 p.m. EST

— It's become a traditional December dance, donations come in to Cary's Dorcas thrift store and the organization then turns the donated items into cash to run their programs. The donor may walk away with a tax credit- it's been a win-win for years.

But now, you may want to give your 2018 charitable giving just a bit more thought. New tax rules mean you may need to give a lot more in order for it to matter on your taxes.

The standard deduction tax filers can claim has nearly doubled, and the amount of money or goods a person would need to donate to charity to claim a tax credit has also moved up the bar.

Linda Marley regularly gives.

“Might as well,” she said.

The donation comes from the heart -- and for the tax money it may save her later on when her tax bill comes due.

Tax rules

Tax rules

“I think if I didn't get a tax deduction, I would still give, but if it is available, I do take advantage of the tax deduction," Marley said.

But many worry the higher amount needed to meet the deduction standard could cause people to stop giving altogether.

Dorcas Ministries Executive Director Howard Manning says he hasn't seen that fear come true.

“I would say most of our donations come from people who would do the standard deduction anyway,” Manning said.

Dorcas Ministries provides help to those in need, from a food pantry to financial assistance. According to Manning, the organization depends on the little donations.

“The sum of all the little contributions is what keeps us running, and we haven't seen any decrease in that at all," Manning said.

Manning wonders what will happen once people file their 2018 tax forms, that's when they will see what the changes mean. Some tax experts may advise to bundle year-to-year giving, donating several years worth at a time to reach the higher standard, then not donating and taking the standard deduction for two to three years.